Jump to content
mystified

Thinking about changing distros

Recommended Posts

I would first try to fix Mandy...

I've heard this when MDK 8.x was released, then when MDK 9.2 was released (remember the story with LG CD drives?), and now MDV 2006... Maybe, if more users dump mandriva instead of trying fix it, Mandriva will try fixing its product?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

now now, let's not turn this into a mandriva-bashing-thread, we got enough of those :P ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would first try to fix Mandy, before switching. Mandriva IS one of the best solutions for laptops. The other great options are Kanotix, which is always developed on lappies, thus should be painless, as Gowator already pointed out, or Ubuntu, although they seemed to have a suspend problem but I guess the problem got solved by now.

 

Fedora is too heavy for laptops imho.

The problem i always had with Mandriva was always with my laptop and hardware issues. Im not a big fan of laptops (on the whole), I'd prefer to have a full keyboard and montor etc. and i tend to only use the laptop when I actually need the portability part.

The problem was i had to patch and compile kernels and all osrts to get it working, non of which was impossible but IMHO I want the laptop to just work like an appliance unlike my desktop which I treat like a toy :D

Also laptop disks are smaller on the whole so you tend to only want a single distro (unless you have enough cash to treat a lappy as a toy as well)... add to this you are more or less stuck with awkward harware on the laptop whereas on a desktop I'd just swap a card out for simplicity...

 

So basically I found Mandrake was so much work on my particualr laptop that by the time it was all working as I liked it then next release eas out and a different kernel so the patches previously applied were no longer valid etc. and different things stopped working and others started....

 

I tend to have a half-day sort of rule now with laptops, try the distro and if you can't get it working correctly in a few hours then I try a different distro ....

 

In this respect live distro's work well, you can see what works and what needs to be done and work out if its worth persuing or try a different distro ... I even had Lindows on the lappy for a while because it worked, even though I don't like it it was that or WinBlows again....

 

This is my reason for kanotix on the laptop .. it worked and nothing needed tweaking from the winmodem to PCMCIA wireless I just plugged em in and it worked .. he also added the new key generator stuff which if you are going to sit in a Wifi cafe is better than messing about with the CLI ... since my battery life is short (really cheap lappy) I mainly just want to fire it up and work....

 

The reason i wouldn't go for Ubuntu is there is practically no technical support or development on 'stable' versions on the forums and especially on a lappy just used for pure work I would prefer a stable version than the current dev release.... if you have to use the lappy for ints intended work purpose but you have been waiting 6 weeks for a answer to a tech prob its not very practical and again because oyu are using it for work playing about trying to fix stuff is not my first choice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, there are limits to the amount of fixing you should/could do. Thus my rule of thumb is similar to Gowators, but I am willing to spend a full day on configuration as a maximum, not one or two hours.

 

I had luck with Mandy installing perfectly on laptops where even Kanotix failed (e.g. with the xga display). Weird, eh? :)

 

While Ubuntu is not going to add much patches, it CAN work out of the box in many cases and if you don't want to customize things a lot, it is a nice solution, although far from a perfect one in many cases.

 

After all, it really depends on what your basic requirements /basic tasks you want to perform are and how much time you are willing to invest into configuration, tweaking and fixing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had luck with Mandy installing perfectly on laptops where even Kanotix failed (e.g. with the xga display). Weird, eh? :)

Actually I find the same ... in general there seems to be hardware better suited to debian and other to Mandrake...

Mandrkae tends to have the more leading edge laptops but Debian seems to be more consistent to me...

 

In a non lappy sense I had issues with 9.1 that were fixed in 9.2 ... I remember being happy and then seeing lots of unhappy posts here because things that had worked for ithers in 9.1 no longer did....just with a different chipset.

 

I usually find that Debian development is slower but more consistent and backported once its done so if it works then it usually still works later whereas Mandrake used to get something working and then the next release fix something else but the first thing stops?

 

 

After all, it really depends on what your basic requirements /basic tasks you want to perform are and how much time you are willing to invest into configuration, tweaking and fixing.

I think this is the bottom line, though remember the tweaking/fixing parts are repeated if you later upgrade which is why I try and limit my invested time on the lappy, apart from using the touchpad and messing about with middle button paste by holding both buttons simultaneously makes editing config files more ofa pain than a desktop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've mostly used Mandriva on laptops, always seems to work well for me. I've had Gentoo running on my laptop, but my wireless was a bit hit and miss whether it would run or not. I had Arch on my laptop, but I did some updates and it borked the wireless completely, so I removed it again since I couldn't get the wireless working no matter what I tried.

 

Also had FC4 on my laptop too, this was OK. But I went back to Mandriva :P

 

I second arctic, try to fix what went wrong with mandy, what's the symptoms, any details on what went wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I boot it up, it gets to lilo, I select linux, the loader starts and then freezes. arctic suggested this may be ndiswrapper causing the problem and that installing other distros wouldn't solve the problem. So is there a workaround or can I just not use wireless networking with my laptop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
arctic suggested this may be ndiswrapper causing the problem and that installing other distros wouldn't solve the problem.

actually, that was me :P

So is there a workaround or can I just not use wireless networking with my laptop?

could you try to get more specifics on the wireless card? i know it's broadcom and 802.11g but there's gotta be a model number or something associated with it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what I get from lspci: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 (AirForce One 54g)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen ndiswrapper freezing my laptop. Go to verbose mode and look at the output. If it is networking doing this, you will see the process of assigning a port address. Your laptop has both a nic and a wireless card. The computer must address both of them. Until I disabled the nic, there was a long delay in the boot. The system wanted the nic to be active if present. By disabling, it passsed the nic and the wireless worked fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ix I'm not even getting to the booting stage. It freezes before that. There's nothing to check.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm getting confused. you say you get to the loading screen, but you say you don't even get to the booting stage....i don't get it? what's on the screen when it freezes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When lilo starts you chose what you want to boot into. I chose linux. There's a bar that goes across the bottom of the screen prior to booting. It goes about 3/4ths of the way across and then freezes. This is still when lilo is on the screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh...

I have seen this before, but have never fixed it. My desktop wasl doing that sometimes. Usually, if I just reboot, it works the second time. I think I changed the kernel which fixed the behavior on my desktop.

 

Also, try switching to grub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If lilo doesnt dissappear off the screen, it's definitely not your wireless, your networking modules are loaded long long after that.

 

Give grub a shot, lilo does funny random things like that.

 

As for the broadcom card, you'll be happy to hear there is a native driver for it in 2.6.17, so if you feel like messing with that, go for it, otherwise in the meantime, you gotta use ndiswrapper.

 

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...